When compared to the last few years, I think this NFL Draft has thrown more wrenches and curveballs into dynasty rookie drafts than the last few years combined. After all, when we have a receiver who some had on the top of their draft board (Kelvin Harmon) not being selected by an NFL team until the sixth round or someone who wasn’t even in the top 50 for many (Mecole Hardman) going as the fifth receiver off the board in the NFL Draft, things can only be defined as crazy.
In order to help get a handle on what to make of things, I gathered 11 of DLF’s finest and conducted a mock draft. The rules of the mock were simple – no trades were allowed and owners were instructed to simply take the best fantasy asset they believed was on the board. We assumed a standard PPR scoring system without any premiums on any positions. Here is how things unfolded in the final round of our first post-draft rookie mock draft.
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3.01 – Drew Lock, QB DEN
3.02 – Diontae Johnson, WR PIT
3.03 – Bryce Love, RB WAS
3.04 – Terry McLaurin, WR WAS
I think this draft starts to dry up a little bit once you get about halfway into the third round. That means once you get a little way into this round, just about anything can happen. This is especially true in a three-round mock draft where people will often take someone they might draft in the last round of their draft regardless of if it is three, four or five rounds long.
With that said, I like all four of these picks. Drafting a quarterback likely to be starting sooner rather than later at this point in the draft is always a good move. The cost is low, and you never know what they might turn into. If they don’t pan out, then you cut them after a few years like the vast majority of third-round picks. However, I think quarterbacks probably have a slightly better hit rate at this point in the draft.
Johnson is an interesting pick. He is slightly undersized and has an okay but not great athletic profile. Pre-draft, I really wasn’t considering him as a draftable asset. However, getting drafted by the Steelers catches my eye. If you look back at their history with receivers, they have routinely hit on the position over the last decade at a much higher rate than the rest of the league. Yes, they missed on Sammie Coates and Markus Wheaton but they nailed picks like Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster and others. This history makes me very curious about Johnson.
I’m a fan of Love. Who isn’t, right? As for the player, I think he likely would have been a second-round pick in the NFL draft and a late first-round pick in rookie drafts had he come out last year. Unfortunately for him, he went back to school and had a rough year. Now there is the question of which version we are going to get. Combine that with the uncertainty of landing in Washington and you get a third-round pick with some risk but potentially a big payoff.
Some say that McLaurin is the best receiver to come out of Ohio State this year. I’m not one of them, but a lot of people are very high on him. I think one of the biggest plusses for him is that he landed on a team with his college quarterback and very little established at the receiver position. This could make him a security blanket from the start and help him develop a clear path to snaps. Definitely worth a shot.
3.05 – Daniel Jones, QB NYG
3.06 – Alexander Mattison, RB MIN
3.07 – Josh Oliver, TE JAC
3.08 – Riley Ridley, WR CHI
While I liked most of the first four picks, I’m much more torn on this grouping. I like the selection of Jones for many of the same reasons I liked Lock a few picks earlier. Regardless of if you think the Giants were right or wrong in taking Jones at six overall, they did it. This level of investment means he is going to get every opportunity to be successful and for a middle third, I’ll take the chance.
Mattison landed in a solid spot behind the often injured Dalvin Cook. The Vikings have very little else, so if Cook were to land on the trainer’s table once again, Mattison will be the next man up. With that said, I question if he has the skill set to be much more than a middle-to-low level RB2. I see him as a jack of all trades but master of none kind of back. With the limited ceiling and needing an injury to see any solid fantasy production, I’m a bit torn on him.
The selection of Oliver surprised me a bit. Landing in Jacksonville with a quarterback who definitely likes throwing to the tight end position helps him out. However, I think he is a very raw player who didn’t play the position until part way through his first year in college. Given that tight ends typically struggle to transition, I think it is an even steeper hill to climb for Oliver. With all of that said, taking a shot on him here is a low-cost gamble on someone who could turn into a solid tight end in a few years. You just need to be patient with him.
I think Ridley is an NFL player, and you can’t argue with the bloodlines. However, I don’t think he has a very solid path to fantasy relevance. I view him as a slightly lesser version of what the Bears already have on their roster, and I think he is merely a depth move for the Bears. He’s going to be important for their team, but I don’t think he will be fantasy worthy anytime soon.
3.09 – Jalen Hurd, WR SF
3.10 – Kelvin Harmon, WR WAS
3.11 – KeeSean Johnson, WR ARI
3.12 – Alex Barnes, RB TEN
With the exception of Harmon, I think these last three picks are players who will have a very wide range of draft positions. Harmon is a player I expected to go a little bit earlier in this round. The depth chart in Washington is pretty open, which could allow Harmon a chance to start sooner rather than later. He was a favorite of many pre-draft, but the NFL clearly didn’t like him as much.
Hurd lands in an interesting spot. San Francisco is trying to establish who they are as an offense, but haven’t been able to do so as a result of injury. We think they have potential, but outside of George Kittle, there is little proven on the team. We think we know who is going to step up, but if Hurd catches the eye of the coaches he could end up with a larger role than we assume.
I lump Johnson into the group with all of the other Arizona receivers who were drafted. We really have no idea what that offense is going to look like or how productive it will be. We also have no idea which receivers are going to step up into which roles. In the late third, it is worth a shot that the offense could turn into something special.
The final pick in our mock, Barnes went undrafted and later signed with the Titans. He is more of a last round of your draft player than someone to target in the third round. He is mostly a backup or potential committee back, but I don’t think he is someone who is going to be a long term starter in the NFL.
That is it for our mock! Hopefully, it helped you get a little feel for what the draft did. It really had some dramatic impacts for some players, and I expect the actual drafts to be a little bit chaotic this year. If you have a player you love, don’t hesitate to go get them! Good luck with your drafts!